Firing Up Your Furnace For The First Time In Months: Smells And Sounds To Sniff And Listen For

Chances are, if you are like most homeowners in about half of the U.S., you shut your furnace off about six to eight months ago and have not turned it back on since. While this is a totally normal approach to heating and cooling during the many seasons experienced in the Northern half of the U.S., it still may present some problems when you turn your furnace on again for the first time in mid-to-late fall. Here are some sounds and smells a heating installation expert would listen and smell for when a furnace is turned back on or a new furnace is turned on the first time.

Burning Odors When the Furnace Kicks On

If you smell a burning odor when you turn your furnace on for the first time in months, do not be too alarmed. There is probably a lot of dust accumulated around the heating coils or on the ignition switch in your furnace, and the heat and/or flame is burning up the dust. However, if the burning smell perseveres for several weeks and every time the furnace kicks on, you will have to have a heating installation expert take a look at your furnace to prevent a possible malfunction of the furnace or a fire in your home. (With the exception of a rotten egg smell that is common to a natural gas furnace, you should not smell anything akin to a burning odor.)

Clanging and Clunking Sounds

Forced air and central air heating units often have a loud whirring sound because of the fact that the air is forced upwards into the ventilation system and into your home. You have probably become so accustomed to the sound of your furnace during the heating season that you do not notice it, but the sound might be startling when you turn the furnace back on again. What you should not hear are several clanging or clunking sounds, which may indicate that something is loose, broken off or malfunctioning inside your furnace. These sounds will be much louder, more obvious and even scary, like a ghost rattling chains. Call an expert in to diagnose and fix the problem.

No Sounds or Smells at All

The only thing more disconcerting with burning smells and clanking sounds coming from your furnace is the complete lack of activity. If you smell nothing, feel nothing and hear nothing, you may have to replace your furnace entirely. Too many people wait too long to turn their furnaces on, only to discover that they need new furnaces, and then HVAC contractors (like West Country Heating & AC) are extremely busy helping your neighbors with their heating repairs and furnace installations. The sooner you turn on your furnace for the colder months and discover that you do not have a working furnace at all, the sooner you can get a new furnace installed.